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Politics Shifts Right: The Rise of Nationalism in Millennial Japan

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Author: Dickson, Jordan
Advisor: DiNitto, Rachel
Committee Members: Kitamura, Hiroshi, 1971-; Han, Eric
Issued Date: 2010-05-19
Subjects: Japan
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10288/2051
Description: From the late 1990s though the turn of the century, scholarly and popular media voiced concern that the revision of war history and rise of patriotic education were signs of the rebirth of Japanese militarism. However, as we approach the end of the first decade in the 21st century the apprehension and resistance to new nationalism in Japan seems to have evaporated, despite the previous implementation and continuation of conservative policies that clearly support a nationalist agenda. I examine the rise of nationalism focusing on the following three areas: historical revisionism, the rise of patriotic education, and the strengthening and expanding of Japan's military forces. These controversial conservative policies were initially met with wide, vocal criticism from domestic liberals, special interest groups, and Asian nations. But over time organized resistance has fallen away due the lack of money, resources, and resolve. In addition, the conservative right has skillfully used the national panic over the breakdown of traditional roles in society and the threat of a nuclear North Korea to assert their policies. Nationalism is still very alive in Japan and the associated policies have lost their radical edge and are becoming the norm. I argue that the concept of "returning to normalcy"�, usually associated with the expansion of Article 9, is in fact being expanded to encompass all nationalist policies, yet now these policies are being implemented under the public radar and hence lack a fruitful discussion of their consequences.
Degree: Bachelors of Arts in Global Studies

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